‘Risk of Covid mutating to overcome vaccine immunity prevails’: Ex-WHO scientist.

Three years after Covid-19 rocked the world, former World Health Organization (WHO) scientist Soumya Swaminathan said a small risk of the virus mutating to overcome immunity offered by various vaccines remains. “Continued surveillance is important,” she told news agency ANI.

Swaminathan also said the risk of getting a heart attack and contracting another disease is four to five per cent higher after getting Covid than after getting vaccinated. “It is well established that after Covid (the) risk of heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes goes up. The risk of getting a heart attack is four to five percent higher after Covid than getting it after vaccination,” she said.

“Covid infection is itself a main risk factor for subsequent heart attacks,” she added.

The world has seen several mutated versions of the Covid-19 virus since the pandemic erupted three years ago; one of the more recent is the XBB.1.5 subvariant of the Omicron type that has been seen in increasing numbers in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Australia.

In December, the WHO estimated that 90 percent of the world population now had some resistance to Covid-19. However, the organization warned that a troubling new variant could still emerge.

“WHO estimates that at least 90 percent of the world’s population now has some level of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, due to prior infection or vaccination. We are much closer to being able to say that the emergency phase of the pandemic is over — but we’re not there yet,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the WHO chief said that the coronavirus “continues to be a public health emergency of international concern”.

Source- Hindustan Times.